McGuinness's tie to arrested activist shown

Footage of Sinn Fein's chief negotiator, Martin McGuinness, speaking to Tom Hanlon, a republican activist who has been questioned by police who are investigating a huge IRA money-laundering scam, was broadcast last night.

Mr Hanlon was released by police in the Republic after being arrested as part of the extensive operation in which more than £2m has been recovered in Co Cork.

Although Mr McGuinness said that he did not know Mr Hanlon, the footage showed the two men chatting during a 2002 election count, when Mr Hanlon stood for the Irish parliament.

The broadcast was one in a series of extraordinary twists in an episode that has placed Sinn Fein and the IRA under mounting pressure.

In another development, money suspected of having been stolen during December's £26m Northern Bank robbery in Belfast turned up at a police sports complex in the city. Police immediately described it as "an effort to distract police investigating the robbery and to divert attention away from events elsewhere".

In Co Cork, a man was arrested after reports that he had been seen burning banknotes in his backyard. Ammunition was also said to have been found.

Meanwhile, a senior advisor to the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, stepped down from two important positions as police moved in on a company he joined last year. Phil Flynn, a one-time Sinn Fein vice-president who is now a substantial and respected business figure, resigned as head of a government decentralisation committee and as head of the Bank of Scotland's Irish division.

He said: "I have no involvement with money-laundering, full stop - for the republican movement or anybody else. The sensible thing is to step aside. This will sort itself out and when it does you'll see me back."

Earlier, Don Bullman, 30, from Wilton in Cork, was charged with Real IRA membership. A Dublin court hearing was told that, on the back seat of a car, police had found €94,000 (£64,000). The court heard that the cash had been concealed in a box of Daz washing powder.

The Irish Justice Minister, Michael McDowell, accused the republican movement of being a "colossal crime machine" laundering huge amounts of money. He declared: "The mask has slipped - the balaclava has been pulled off their heads."

Police on both sides of the border are co-operating on the question of whether the money found includes any of the £26m stolen from the Northern Bank last year. The IRA and Sinn Fein deny republican involvement in the robbery but both the Irish and British governments say the IRA did it. Irish police are examining Northern Bank notes worth £60,000 that were recovered in Co Cork.

Detailed searches continued in several parts of the Republic, at the homes of known republicans and at the offices of financial firms. In Londonderry, meanwhile, a policeman was struck by a stone and concussed during searches of republican homes.

Police confirmed that a Cork businessman had gone to a police station and handed in a bag containing £175,000 which he said he had been asked to keep.

The Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, who interrupted a visit to Spain, said people should not rush to blame republicans. He added: "I would urge people to be very measured. They should not make knee-jerk judgements or try to beat up on Sinn Fein."

The Garda Commissioner, Noel Conroy, said some of the seven people originally arrested were believed to have "subversive" connections.

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
A rub on the tummy sprang Casey back to life
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Employment Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little